Your blog is an incredible way to attract an audience and move prospects to action.
The challenge is finding the time to get that next article out.
No worries! At BlogWorks we have developed a way to publish amazing blog articles in a whole lot less time.
It’s all about a system.
Here’s how to write a blog post fast using this proven 7 step system:
- Build a Content Calendar of great topics for future articles.
- Start with the end in mind and plan the CTA’s (Call To Action) you want readers to take.
- Use an egg timer and limit your research to 15 minutes.
- Use a template to save time writing and make your article better.
- Avoid the temptation to edit until you have your first draft
- When editing, avoid the temptation to rewrite your article—done is better than perfect.
- Write your headline and select your images last.
Now, before you run away screaming “System, Smishdom, I’m a creative beast and hate systems that kill my creative genius.” I have a secret for you…
Highly successful creative people use systems to help them be creative.
- Architect Frank Lloyd Wright had a practice of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and working for several hours before heading back to bed.
- Movie producer, Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, A beautiful mind, Friday night lights) schedules weekly “curiosity conversations” with accomplished people.
- And many famous creatives, like Madame Curie, Frida Kahlo, and George Washington Carver recorded their ideas in journals, as do Tim Ferriss and George Lucas today.
The 7-step system we use (and you will learn) allows for lots of creative moments and will save you a ton of grief and time!
Let’s jump in and see how it works.
1. Build a Content Calendar
A great way to kick start your blog writing process is by building a Content Calendar. This is a list of future posts that solve problems you know your customers have.
Start by breaking the work you do into subtopics. This article gives you 36 popular topics and is a great place to start.
For example, if you are a financial planner you probably help clients with estate planning, charitable giving, tax planning, and investments.
Each of those subtopics (or categories) can lead to dozens of great blog topics. You can organize these in an Excel or Google sheet and keep adding to your list as you think of new topics.
Start with the end in mind
You wouldn’t plan a vacation with your family without a destination and you shouldn’t write a blog without knowing where you want your reader to go.
Even a simple action, or CTA (Call To Action), like inviting your reader to read another, related, post on your site is a good first step. The goal is not to just keep the reader on your site – the goal is to prove you are a trusted authority and the best choice when it comes to solving their problem.
Every time your reader consumes more of your content, you establish yourself as a trusted authority.Every time your reader consumes more of your content you establish yourself as a trusted authority. Click To Tweet
Some of the CTA’s you can include in your post are:
- Link to another post
- Contact you for more information.
- Complete a short questionnaire about their needs.
- Watch a video explaining your services.
- Optin to your mailing list (and receive your free gift/lead magnet)
- Download a “content upgrade”, or additional information about the topic of the post. For example, an investment planning Excel chart or estate planning checklist.
3. Research with a timer
You have your blog topic (from your Content Calendar), you know what action you want the reader to take (your CTA’s)…now it’s time for research.
Before you get lost reading other blog posts, WIKI articles, or your past blog posts, set an egg timer for 15 minutes.
Any more than 15 minutes of research and you are procrastinating the writing.
Of course, there are exceptions (like medical, or technical blogs!)
In 15 minutes you can get inspired by what other bloggers have written, get ideas for new subheadings and maybe discover some statistics, quotes, or facts you can include.
More than 15 minutes of research for a blog article and you are probably making your post overly complicated and unattractive for the reader.
4. Use this template
Possibly the best trick to saving time writing your next blog post is to start with a template. A template helps you organize your thoughts, but more importantly, using a good template will help keep your reader on your blog article longer.
Here’s a simple template that we follow at BlogWorks. You can download this template and learn more about how to use it in this article.
OPENING – start with a story, a bold claim, or a statistic/fact. The job of the opening is to grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read the next sentence.
PROBLEM – make it obvious the problem you are solving. It could be to save time, rescue a marriage, or delegate better – whatever it is, make it clear you understand their problem.
PERSONAL – what’s your personal experience or client’s story, or research you’ve completed?
PROMISE – tell the reader what they can expect from the article. Keep them reading by building anticipation!
SOLUTION(S) – what do they need to do or change? Give examples of how this has worked for others? What do they need to avoid?
NEXT STEPS – remind them of the problem and why your solution is important.
THE OFFER – how they can go further with you (products, services, courses, etc)
CLOSE – finish with a motivational message, call-to-action, or challenge.
5. Write, don’t edit
Here’s a trick from the pros for faster writing. Write, don’t edit.
When you stop to edit you not only slow down the writing process, you switch from a creative level of thinking about this topic and the solutions to a detailed level that’s all about commas and semicolons.
This is also true when you come back to finish a blog article you started previously—resist the urge to start editing what you’ve written. Instead, pick up where you left off, finish writing, and then go back to editing.
Before you know it you’ll have what author Anne Lamott famously calls your “shitty first draft.”
Get that first draft done and then reward yourself with the easier job of editing.
6. Edit, don’t write
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark, Copybloggers
Now that you have your draft article it’s time to quickly edit and get ready for the final steps of headline, images, and publishing.
Remember, this is a blog post designed to be read in only a few minutes—done is better than perfect.
In this article, I show you how to write faster and make what you write more inviting to read, especially on a smartphone.
Here are some tricks to making your blog post faster to read and more likely to keep your reader scrolling:
- Install a free tool, like Grammarly, and half of your mistakes can be fixed in minutes.
- Remove redundancies like “that” and chop long sentences into smaller ones.
- Keep the reader moving by breaking big paragraphs into smaller ones.
- Build-in “cliffhangers” like: “Before I get to that…”, or “Let me ask you a question…”
- Break advice into easy to read bullets or numbered lists.
- Use dashes, em dashes to keep the reader moving through your article and use bold to draw their attention to important points.
7. Headlines and images last
Finally, it’s time for your headline and images. In this article, I give you 5 ways to find great headlines – look at #4 using Google’s Auto Suggest to refine the focus of your headline.
For this article, one of my draft headlines was “Write a blog post.” That is literally what the post is about, so that’s where I started.
Using Google’s Auto Suggest I saw that “How to write a blog post fast” was a popular search phrase, I didn’t see much competition for that topic, so that’s what I went with.
The BlogWorks Amazing Headline Analyzer will quickly give you a rating and feedback on your headline. Try it right now!
This article has 7 sources for free images. And this article gives you everything you need to know about sourcing, sizing, editing, and inserting the perfect image (GIF or video as well) into your blog post.
This 7 step system will help keep the creative juices flowing, but also get your blog post written, edited, published, and attracting new business.
You might be a creative genius, but sometimes we all need a good system to get the work done.
Enjoyed this article? Here are 3 more all about images, video and making your blog go viral:
The ultimate guide to adding YouTube videos to your blog.
Free Images for your Blog: 7 Awesome Sources
4 Ways to Make Your Blog Images Pop
This article was originally written in 2018, but has been updated just for you in 2020.
Great Blog. I delivered a 60-minute Session this week for an Online Business Summit about How to Produce Great Content in record time and was talking about the physical and mental preparation side of things, how to supercharge your brain, and speed through the reading and research in minutes vs. hours, days, and weeks, so this is the perfect practical compliment!
Wow! Cool Marilyn. What perfect timing. Next time I think I need to include more about the mental preparation – thanks for that.
Great post – thanks for the reminders to just gut it out and not edit while writing, and to get with it on creating some templates to streamline my content creation.
PS – I can certainly state that all three of the license-free image sites you recommend have EXCELLENT content to choose from and easy ways to save and categorize images for later use. Just don’t fall down a rabbit hole of ogling gorgeous photography like I always do when I’m on there!
Thanks Elizabeth – so glad that this was useful. Here’s to staying out of rabbit holes!
Have not received your writing template yet. Tried a couple of times.
Really great article. Lov it/ yd
Thanks for the quick and easy research tools for blogging. They will certainly help!
Rebecca – thanks. I was trying to get some super quick research tools that you can use. Glad you found them useful!
Who can write more clearly than you about such matters!
I promise you, nobody, I’ve seen something like this only
on https://classof2k13.com/big-guide-to-freelancing/. I enjoyed the
guide and suppose you have more such material? If yes, so please post
it because it is somewhat unusual for me at the present moment, and not just for me, that is my
view. Hopefully, I can get an in-depth guide of yours and take
note of all of the news and the latest data.
Love this amazing post, keep up the good work!
Realy helpful evey new bloggers definitely do this mistake when writing with editing.
What an excellent post
Hugh. Thank you so much for the tips.
Most writers and bloggers advice you start with the headline first but just like you said, having the basic keyword down first then finalizing headline last makes everything flow faster and easier.
Moving forward, I’m surely going to be adopting your system.
Got answered to all of my quires, Thank you
Great article Mr. Hugh. You have explained all the information so deeply. Keep publishing this type of amazing blog posts.